30 Sept 2009

Green Left in Salma Yaqoob call to Green Party

Very glad to see this....Salma worked hard for the Green Party in the Euro Elections.

Statement from GL re Birmingham
The following statement was agreed unanimously last night by the Steering Group of Green Left. There will be a decision on whether to stand a candidate by Green Party members in Hall Green constituency within the next week.

“Green Left calls upon our fellow Green Party members in Birmingham not to stand a candidate in the constituency of Birmingham Hall Green in the coming general election in order to give a strong, progressive and environmentally aware candidate the chance of taking the seat. We believe that Salma Yaqoob of Respect is the candidate most likely to do this and her victory would be a victory for all those opposing the policies of privatisation, war, greed, racism and environmental destruction.

We believe that this is an opportunity for the progressive movement in Birmingham to unite behind one candidate and not to make the mistakes of the European election, where a divided Left opened the way to the election of racists and bigots. For the benefit of the people of Birmingham and of radical politics in this country we ask the Green Party in Birmingham to stand aside and not to oppose Salma Yaqoob. We are firmly of the belief that this will benefit both the Green and progressive movements in this country and send out a signal that we are serious in challenging the neo-liberal economic policies of the three main parties as well as Fascism and racism.”

Joseph Healy
Co-Convenor Green Left

'Mi pregunta a este señor De Soto sería ¿por qué él cree que estamos mal asesorados?.'

'Hernando de Soto argues that individual ownership of land becomes capital when land is certified by international agreements guaranteeing investments. He recommends to the indigenous that get individual stocks outside of the collective ownership of their communities. Only thus, he argues, could they benefit from the wealth that is in their land. But not a word from de Soto about the 1.228 forestry concessions 7,'802 660 hectares and 81 lots of oil in 56 `131.862 hectares, and handed over to multinational and national companies, and / or individuals, representing 10.0% and 72 % of Peruvian Amazon territory, respectively. (See the map of distribution of Amazonian territory, prepared by the Instituto del Bien Común, Lima 2009).

What's for left for indigenous communities? Ideally, these companies become partners to exploit these resources, but de Soto said that the collective title is worthless and does not know of companies willing to partner with native communities.' More here.

Alan Garcia is a bit of a fat buffon and despite a huge wave of repression including the massacre at Bagua has consistently failed to defeat the indigenous.

Capital, its a bit like paying someone to hang themselves with piano wire....a grotesque and painful death for some short term goodies.

If we log the Amazon and destroy it for oil...collectively we face destruction, you cannot go on smashing the planet without severe environmental ill effects.

Now for the indigenous, they don't even benefit in the short term, their land is stolen and their society wrecked.

So they resist!

The Peruvian intellectuals are now weighing but on the side of Garcia!

The economist de Soto has not, as far as I know, defended the indigenous attacked at Bagua...but in a new film 'The Mystery of Capital among the indigenous people of the Amazon' has argued that if the collective communal property rights of the indigenous were abolished, the indigenous could gain prosperity.

In an age of free software he forgets the indigenous have a model of ownership that preserves resources including the forest for sustainable use.....rather more sophisticated than his notions of property perhaps.

He calls the indigenous ill advised and urges them to privatise the forests.

The indigenous the sub text goes are ignorant but could become rich if they followed market based economics.

However the indigenous are wise and strong and for them the market means oil corporations coming into to steal their land.

de Soto should learn from them, instead he seeks to instruct and he misses the far from mysterious nature of the workings of capital in the Amazon....capital steals but the people resist theft!

He failed to interview Santiago Manuin or any other of the AIDSEP leaders....

They defend the property rights of the indigenous, so they are by definition ignorant when it comes to economists....however those who really are ignorant are men like de Soto.

In the past to create private property, commons have been enclosed and destroyed.

The indigenous use mobile phones, the internet and the bits of 'modernity' they find useful....they are sophisticated people, the very fact that they have constructed a working political force made up of over 50 different ethnic groups, shows they can get their shit together.

They face shocking racism, Alan Garcia open calls them dogs and huge repression but they fight back and fight back very effectively.

I am learning that one of the sources of their power is bilingualism.....protestant and catholic groups came to teach the indigenous spanish....many indigenous people learnt Spanish BUT they used the language to build alliances between different indigenous groups.

The anthropologist L.Shane Green argues they customise modernity....i.e, they take and use.

I am guessing they could adapt de Soto's ideas and throw them back at him! Whatever de Soto intentions, there is a war between oil corporations and the indigenous and he does not seem to be taking the side of those defending property from theft as far as I can see.

I am not saying indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon are either perfect or all the same, and hey what do I know living in the UK, but they are certainly savvy and well organised.

They have responded to de Soto by essentially threatening him with eviction. They argue that they have a legal right to their land and the state wants to steal their land and give it to oil corporations.

If de Soto really was a liberal who believed in property rights he would be manning the barricades at Bagua.

The problem with liberals is that believe in a mystery. The mystery of capital but the idea of individual ownership rests on a history of theft.

Happily in 2009 those threatened with enclosure can use some pretty handy trappings of modernity like the web to defend their legal rights.

A Peruvian anthropologist has provided a good critique of de Sotos film.

And indigenous Peruvians have been blogging some criticism of de Soto

De Soto get off our land they say!

Liberals they drip with blood!

The Regional Organization AIDESEP Ucayali - ORAU condemned the video of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, led by Hernando de Soto, and which seeks to create a smokescreen against the reality of Indigenous Peoples who had the need to mobilize against legislative decrees, prejudicial to their rights and were meant to deliver them of their land to multinational companies.

If you leer Spanish, I highly recommend you have a good read of the indigenous criticisms of de Soto, very interesting reading and very inspiring.

These people don't take the assaults on their land laying down and whether its the courts, the web, non violent direct action or debating with comprador intellectuals they are very much up for it.

29 Sept 2009

The Coup in Honduras: Repression, Resistance and the Struggle for Democracy

Public Talk: The Coup in Honduras: Repression, Resistance and the Struggle for Democracy (Monday October 12th/London)

Alborada presents a public talk:

The Coup in Honduras: Repression, Resistance and the Struggle for Democracy.

On 21 September the democratically elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, returned to the country following his forced expulsion by a military coup in June.

The Honduras dictatorship responded by barricading President Zelaya in the Brazilian Embassy, cutting off water, electricity and telephone lines to the building and unleashing a wave of repression against peaceful protestors who had gathered to welcome back their elected President.

Come and hear about the latest developments in Honduras, what the role of the US government has been and what this means for US/Latin America relations under Obama, and what we in Britain can do to help Honduras’ pro-democracy movement.


- Calvin Tucker: Editor of 21stcenturysocialism.com who has recently returned from accompanying the pro-democracy movement in Honduras.

- Grace Livingstone: Journalist and author of the book ‘America’s Backyard’, 2009, Zed Books.

Monday 12th October, 6.30-8.15pm (Talk starts at 7pm)
The Compass (Function room),
58 Penton Street,
London N1 9PZ
Nearest Tube: Angel


Facebook event page:


>More info: info@alborada.net

Background info:
News & Analysis Video: The Siege of Tegucigalpa (The Real News Network)

28 Sept 2009

Golpists attack Honduran Embassy: More news here that the BBC ignore!

The leaders of the Coup d’état have managed to block all Internet service.

The detention of OAS officials comes after several days of Michelet aggression against the Brazilian embassy. Michelet ordered the Embassy attacked when it was reported that President Zelaya was staying there.

It has been confirmed that coup leaders have dropped chemical gas on the Embassy and are using LRAD’s (Long Range Acoustic Devices) against President Zelaya, his wife and other supporters at the Brazilian embassy.

This is another violation of international law and conventions and can be interpreted as a blatant act of war.

LRAD’s are manufactured in the U.S. and can cause permanent hearing damage. A photographer captured the use of LRAD’s, which emit an acoustic beam so offensive and painful that it can cause serious damage to hearing. The sound is similar to a car alarm but dramatically more intense. At full capacity, the LRAD emits a 150 decibel sound wave, journalists report.

This weapon has frequently been used by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.

President Zelaya reports from the Brazilian embassy that they have been subjected to "bombardments with chemical products and ultrasound waves that provoke illness and make people very nervous."

The indigenous defeated the government to save the forests!

My political associates in Peru are non party but nonetheless interesting interview here form GLW with Peruvian nationalists who are the left party in the country.

I am stunned by the political sophistication and the victories won by the indigenous in Peru...lessons for all of us who are serious about climate change and green politics....on to GLW.

Peru: ‘A political defeat for the government’

Kiraz Janicke
24 September 2009

In April, Amazonian indigenous peoples in Peru began an uprising to demand the repeal of more than a dozen neoliberal decrees by President Alan Garcia. The decrees opened up vast swathes of indigenous peoples’ lands to exploitation by transnational oil, mining and logging companies.

On June 5, the government unleashed a brutal crackdown on protesters in the Amazonian town of Bagua. At least 60 indigenous people were massacred.

A nation-wide backlash forced the government to repeal three of the most controversial decrees.

Tito Prado, head of the international commission of the Peruvian Nationalist Party (PNP) and PNP Congresswoman Yanet Cajahuanca spoke to Green Left Weekly about the situation in the country after the Bagua massacre and the political program of the PNP, led by Ollanta Humala.

“The political situation of the country has changed in many ways” since the Bagua massacre, said Prado, who also edits La Lucha Continua. He is a member of the PNP’s Governmental Plan and Political Program Advisory Council.

“It was a political defeat for a government that dared to suppress the indigenous protests, but in the end had to repeal the neoliberal decrees.”

Cajahuanca was one of seven indigenous parliamentarians suspended for supporting the indigenous struggle and protesting against the decrees. She told GLW that the PNP opposed the decrees, which were apart of implementing the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States.

“These legislative decrees are totally detrimental to the interests of indigenous and rural areas”, she said. “Why? Because, the neoliberal model clashes with the property rights of indigenous communities.

“These legislative decrees aimed to expropriate the land of indigenous and peasant communities, as well as giving the state the freedom to grant concessions without having to inform, to consult or hold dialogue with and involve those communities in whose subsoil the resources are located.”

Cajahuanca said the issue of indigenous land rights “has historically generated considerable unease in our country. Today indigenous and farming communities say that the large corporations that come to settle in their territories, worsen rather than improve the quality of life.

“They don’t want them to come into their territories at all.

“The 12 legislative decrees are prejudicial to the sovereignty and the rights of peasant communities, and are against their way of life. They do not respect the environment.”

Indigenous peoples have been calling for dialogue over the decrees for a year and a half, but “there has been no willingness for dialogue by the central government”.

The intransigent position of the government “has generated considerable social conflict … created a confrontation, a climate of instability. The response by the executive has been the spilling of blood: 64 Peruvians dead and many more missing.”

The PNP parliamentarians, Cajahuanca said, “have had the opportunity to visit the indigenous communities in their place of origin, where they live, after three days of travel from the capital to these sites.

“All they are asking is that the water is not contaminated and that the forests are looked after, because that’s where they live. I don’t think that’s much to ask.

“All we are asking for is the right to life, something that this economic model and Mr Alan Garcia do not want to understand.”

However, the fact that the government was forced to repeal three decrees represents “a major defeat for the government”, Prado said. As the struggle occurred on a national level, it was “a triumph not only of indigenous people, but all the Peruvian people”.

“It was a national struggle that drew a dividing line across the country: on one hand you have the government, rightist parties, armed forces, the US. And on the other hand, the indigenous peoples and the settlers, farmers, workers, students came out en masse to support them.

“It is a struggle that divided and polarised the country.”

As a result, “the government was isolated … because even sectors of their allies had to condemn the fact that they had not used consultation and avoided this political crisis.

“Not only were the decrees defeated, but the cabinet fell. All the ministers had to resign, for the second time.”

Prado said this has left the government badly weakened and “the popular movement with more confidence that, through struggle and unity, important victories can be achieved — albeit partial”.

However, Cajahuanca said: “The government of Alan Garcia is still persecuting the leaders who have been leading the indigenous and peasant struggle. Many have been jailed, others are seeking asylum.

“And not only does Garcia not respect the leaders, but he also even managed to attack us in Congress. He suspended seven parliamentarians whose crime was to defend our people, because ultimately, we come from them, we were elected simply because we offered to defend their rights.”

Prado said the Garcia government had not learned the lesson of the Bagua confrontation, and continued to insist on implementing the same neoliberal policies as part of its agreement with the US.

The cabinet has been reconstituted with people even farther to the right, he said. And, rather than seeking to engage in genuine dialogue with indigenous communities, the government is pushing for more confrontation.

It is attempting to divert attention from its role in the Bagua massacre by blaming the indigenous protests on a supposed “international conspiracy” headed by the left-wing governments in Bolivia and Venezuela.

Prado said Peru is “heading towards major confrontations. The Indigenous people have only suspended their demonstrations ... and several other sectors are moving.”

He pointed to recent strikes and protests in the southern cities of Ica, Pisco and Chincha, where two years after a massive 7.9 Richter earthquake devastated the region thousands remain living in tents and the cities look like they have been bombed.

“They have opened up a process of social confrontation, increased political polarisation. This will continue through to the electoral process of 2011.

“The Peruvian people will have to choose between the continuity offered by the neoliberal right or a big change that only the PNP is able to express, because it has managed to cohere a large majority of the population.”

Cajahuanca said: “Our project is a project of change that wants win government.”

Cajahuanca said in the social sphere, the PNP aims to promote social inclusion “that respects the differences of all our indigenous peoples” and “improves the quality of life” of all Peruvians.

In the economic sphere, Cajahuanca said a key platform of the PNP is for the state “to be more involved in strategic activities, I refer to sectors that are related to natural resources, mining, gas, oil”, and for resources to be directed “towards the development of our country”.

“We want to improve education, provide support in agrarian affairs, because it is this sector that is the poorest, and begin to industrialise our country.”

Cajahuanca said it was necessary to implement policies “to stimulate the national market”, and introduce tax reform to force large multi-national mining companies to pay taxes and royalties.

“We also want to provide opportunities to our Peruvian entrepreneurs to upgrade their activities, in order to give greater opportunities for them to go forward faster.”

Prado said one of the central proposals of the PNP “is the convening of a constituent assembly, to dismantle the constitution we inherited from the dictatorship of [former president Alberto] Fujimori, which locked-in the neoliberal model.

“We cannot make the changes we want as long as this constitution persists. Therefore we propose a democratic constitution where the people can introduce fundamental changes against this model, against state corruption ... to recover and use energy resources for the benefit of the whole country.

“Right now, the Fujimori constitution prevents the state from taking an active role in economic life.”

Prado said the PNP program is “an essentially anti-imperialist and democratic program. The project, however, opens up a dynamic that can place tasks of a much greater magnitude on the agenda, such as is happening in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

“In that sense, part of our program is integration with Latin America, particularly with countries that have opted for change. We want to participate in ALBA [Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas anti-imperialist bloc of nations led by Venezuela and Cuba].

“And, therefore we reject FTAs as absolutely colonialist, including with the US, Europe, China and Chile.

“So we are facing a historic opportunity, because if successful, we would encourage the process of change that exists all over Latin America. It would signify a better balance of forces across the continent.”


Late last night (UK time) the coup regime replaced the figleaf of constitutional legitimacy with a Pinochet-style moustache. At about 10pm (3pm Honduran time) the coup leaders unveiled a decree suspending the constitution and civil rights, and vowing to arrest their opponents.

All public gatherings and demonstrations are now officially banned, except those “authorized by police or military authorities.”

Freedom of movement is now officially banned:

“Freedom of transit, which will be restricted according to the parameters established by press releases broadcast on all radio and TV stations by the President of the Republic, which will be in effect in all national territory and during curfews.”

All insitutions of government and state have been put under the direct command of the military:

“All Secretaries of State, decentralized institutions, municipalities and other state organisms must place themselves at the orders of the National Police and Armed Forces without any equivocation”

The last remaining independent TV and radio stations are about to be attacked and closed down:

“Publication in any media, spoken, written or televised, of information that offends human dignity, public officials, or criticizes the law and the government resolutions, or any style of attack against the public order and peace. CONATEL (the Honduran communications commission), through the National Police and the Armed Forces, is authorized to suspend any radio station, television channel or cable system that does not adjust its programming to the present decree”

The coup leader’s decree also included an order to “detain all persons who are found outside of the established orders of circulation”


The National Resistance Front has issued a statement saying that they will march in the capital Tegucigalpa today. People are heading towards Tegus from all parts of the country following President Zelaya’s call to his supporters to prepare for a “final offensive”.

The dictatorship will attempt to seal off the capital by blocking roads and attacking protesters with bullets, tear gas and water cannon. There is a significant risk of a bloodbath and mass arrests. The regime has previously imprisoned hundreds of people in football stadiums; some detainees have been tortured.

Solidarity is needed more than ever.

Coup closes down radio station!

Just had some information from inside the Brazillian embassy in Honduras...

The coup leaders in Honduras are cracking down, please note the following and take action, thanks to Calvin for this,


The building of Radio Globo in Tegucigalpa is currently surrounded by army and police at the start of their broadcast at 5:00AM today September 28th.

This happens in the context of a new decree from the coup regime that further attacks constitutional rights. That decree explicitly threatens independent radio and TV stations with closure if they fail to heed the order to stop challenging the regime.

Radio Globo is reporting their front door is being smashed in and the broadcasters David Romero and Ronnie Martinez are appealing to the listeners for help.

Please make urgent representations for the Foreign Office to demand the respect the life and physical safety of the radio staff and the respect of press freedom.

I’ve just received this message from the president’s daughter, Hortensia ‘Pichu’ Zelaya, who is under seige at the Brazilian embassy:

“Be alert! Any information you send to us here through email is public. ‘X’ reports that the military are now seizing the equipment of Cholusat Sur TV and Radio Globo, and removing it from the premises.”

27 Sept 2009


'Um, cancel your plans for tonight people, because "sources" indicate that whathisname, the President of Venezuela, will be on Larry fucking King's variety hour tonight. 9 p.m. Eastern. CNN. Can this possibly be true?' Bo Rev just says it like it is, please no more pets in blenders though, its not nice. More here.

On a different note 'An essential guide to green politics reviewed here'.

'Yes, I have received many threats. Even today I continue to receive direct threats from the mining company.' remember gold comes with blood more from Guatemala here.

The LGBT community in Serbia also face violence, Joseph Healy of Green Left reports on the attacks on Belgrade Pride here.

Is the truth enough?....the third estate suspects not when it comes to the BNP and to climate change, look here.

'Left' web counterpunch has been condemned for anti-semitism....publishing a story that revives the blood libel...Socialist Unity argues that we should not tolerate anti-semitism. I agree!

Should ecosocialist stop flying? asks Ian Angus here, I try not to but life style change is not enough.

Liam from the left, joins the spending cuts debate with some novel suggestions here.

'Here inside the Pittsburgh G20 Summit it feels like being there at the birth of a postmodernist medieval empire.' more here.

Blue hands rather than a green soul?

Caroline Lucas argues that the Lib Dems are far from green in the Independent

the Lib Dems appear to want to emulate the Green Party. And over the years their official policy has clearly followed that of the Greens in a number of respects. But the Lib Dems' practical track record is something else altogether. Historically, this is a party that has been characterised by what you might call "consistent inconsistency" – saying one thing and doing another, and following different policies in different places regardless of their supposed principles.

Related articles
The bluffer's guide to the Lib Dem conference
Take roadbuilding as an example. Back in the early Nineties, the Lib Dems called for a moratorium on new roads, and today Norman Baker is saying that a Lib Dem government would halt spending on roadbuilding. The rhetoric may have been consistently green but the practice, with equal consistency, hasn't been. From the Newbury bypass and the Batheaston bypass, right up to the M74 extension and the Lancaster northern bypass, you'd be hard pressed to find a major road scheme in the past 20 years that the local Lib Dem MP or councillors haven't supported.

With aviation, the Lib Dems are inconsistent in a different way. They opposed the expansion of Heathrow, but have been happy to support the expansion of Birmingham, Carlisle, Exeter, Liverpool and Norwich airports. They were wildly enthusiastic about Manchester airport's second runway – except for Lib Dems in Stockport, under the flightpath.

Greens would say that air pollution knows no boundaries, but for the Lib Dems it depends where you are. In the 2002 local council elections they gained control of Hull by campaigning against an incinerator, and on the same day lost control of Sheffield where they had called for a new incinerator. They currently support incinerator projects in Exeter, Plymouth and Barnstaple. In Essex they support a zero waste strategy, which ought to mean no incineration – but yes, Essex Lib Dems are still supporting incineration.

As most people now know, being Green isn't just about the environment – it's about social and economic justice too. Clegg's recent lurch to the right, his call for "savage cuts" in public spending, and his pronouncements on tuition fees and child benefits will therefore do little to endear him to Green voters. In fact it's unlikely to endear him to that huge constituency of voters in the centre and on the left, either.

Those people, millions of them, are looking for something that isn't Labour or Conservative, that doesn't take its orders from the finance sector. A party with a genuine commitment to fairness, which promotes tax increases for the very wealthy because it's just. A party which wants an urgent crackdown on tax havens, bonuses and chief executive pay, instead of offering to cut public services – just because that's what Labour and the Conservatives want too.

The Liberal Democrats have always been a party with an identity crisis. In part, this has been fuelled by uncertainty as to whether they should bid for the disillusioned Labour vote or the disenchanted Conservative vote, knowing always that none of these voters are heart-and-soul Lib Dems. And part of the identity crisis is that the Lib Dems dearly want to be the Greens, but they can never quite manage it.

Caroline Lucas is leader of the Green Party of England and Wales

26 Sept 2009

Post 2000: Ecosocialist candidate for Greek General Election

well for my 2,000 post on this blog....a message from friends in Greece.



For the first time in Greece,
an Ecosocialist candidate takes part in the general elections. Our party,
“Ecosocialists Greece”
is one of the eleven component member parties of SYRIZA coalition.

We proposed three candidates. Two of them (Tasos Pantazidis and
Konstantina Georga, both members of EIN and participants of the 2007 Paris meeting) were
selected. Konstantina resigned, so Tasos is our representative in SYRIZA lists.

Who is Tasos Pantazidis:

Tasos was
born in Athens
in 1970.
Member of
left and ecology parties since he was a student.
Former member
of Socialist Workers Party (SEK) – brother party of the British SWP.
member of DEA.
Founding member
and representative of “Ecological Interference”.
secretary of “Ecologists Greece”.
Founder of
the “Association of Ecosocialists Greece”
(later named “Ecosocialists Greece”).
Member of the
Ecosocialist International Network.
He translated
the “Ecosocialist Manifesto” and the “Declaration of Belem” into Greek (http://ecosocialistsgreece.blogspot.com/2008/07/blog-post_30.html and
in the first International Ecosocialist Meeting in Paris (2007). Member of SYRIZA
Editor – in –
chief of “Ikososialistis” newspaper.
President of
the “Association of Solidarity of Greeks and Immigrants – Union”.
Civil clerk and
Former Soccer
referee. Now a Rugby referee.
Married and
father of two children.

He is a candidate in the 2nd Electoral Region of Athens.

Comrades, we seek for your support.

“Ecosocialists Greece”

Some explanations about politics in Greece:

SYRIZA stands for: Coalition of the Radical Left (SYnaspismos
RIZospastikis Aristeras). And has 11 components:

AKOA ( Renovative Communist
and Ecological Left)
DEA (Internationalist
Workers’ Left)
Active Citizens
KEDA (Movement for the
Action Unity of the Left)
KOE (Communist
Organization of Greece)
Xekinima (Start)
Ecosocialists Greece
Kokkino (Red)
Socialist Left (former
“Roza” Radical Left
Synaspismos (Coalition
of Left, of Movements and Ecology)

Eurocommunists, 2,6,8: Trotskyists, 4: former Stalinist Communists ,5:
Communists - Maoists, 3: Direct Democracy, 7: Ecosocialists, 9:
Socialdemocrats, 10: Political Rights)

the 2007 elections the major Greek parties got:

New Democracy
(Neoliberals) 41.84% - 152 MPs
PASOK (Socialdemocrats)
38.1% - 102 MPs
KKE (Communist Party)
8.15% - 22 MPs
SYRIZA 5.04% - 14 MPs
LAOS (extreme right) 3.8% -
10 MPs
Ecologists Greens 1.05%
- Ø MPs (3% is needed in order to elect MPs)

note about the Greens: They declare that they are not Left nor Right party.
People do not consider them as “left” in general. In Greece, Ecology has no “colour”.
For example, “Ecologists Greece” (0.65% in the EU elections) in 2007 applied to
join SYRIZA (the application was rejected for political reasons) and now they
joined the extreme right party of LAOS, in order to “save the

Green Left government embarrass greens.

The only country in Europe with a Green Left government is expanding whaling.

I am tempted to offer them the John Gormley prize for Green failure in government.

Get elected, go into coalition with corrupt property developers, support motorway expansion and chide other Greens for not following the path of pragmatism.

Well I am guessing the Green Left coalition in Iceland is doing some good stuff but the whaling does not inspire hope.

I promise to love you again if you stop wrecking the environment for short term political gain.....I guess gormless Gormley will be flying off to another climate conference soon and in the Irish General Election the Greens will be flying out of the Dail.

More here on the whaling.

Hitman claims he was offered $25 million to kill Chavez

More here.

Fidel Castro used to claim that he was being set up for assassination by the US government.

Toba still seek the promised land

And they will make the journey...because the first peoples are strong.

Love to see the British government supporting the Toba....its not going to happen 'love corporations, hate peope and the environment' could be the New Labour slogan with individuals like Chris Bryant MP at the foreign office....'free trade, dead planet' might be another slogan....while I have been really pleased to see Tory MP Nick Hurd doing his bit and asking questions about the destruction of the Amazon, I fear under a conservative government it will get worse still.

The British policy in Latin America is find a country with death squads and do a free trade deal....Colombia has had so many trade unionists killed and at Bagua the Peruvian government murdered the people of the Amazon....great lets engage and give them a bit of investment.

Ditto the European Union currently construction bilateral trade deals with Peru and Colombia.

Honduras next?

just had this from intercontinental cry

Tierra Prometida (Promised Land) chronicles the journey of a group of ethnic Toba People who were driven from their traditional territory in
Argentina’s dense El Impenetrable forest.

For centuries the Toba resisted colonial encroachment and missionization, until the late 1800s, when the Argentine government began to occupy and divide El Impenetrable into concessions to exploit.

Ever since that time, the Toba have been cheated, forgotten, and forced to endure a hostile reality—all the while searching for a better life for themselves and their children.

Ruben Sarmiento, Chief of the Toba Community “19 de Abril” tells the story of his tribe and the obstacles they have had to overcome after being settled in the port area of Dock Sud, Buenos Aires, one of the most polluted areas in the world.

Situated near the Federal Capital, Dock Sud stands as the focus of discrimination, unemployment and crime, malnutrition, and diseases like tuberculosis and Chagas disease, caused by a parasitic insect.

Despite being decimated by environmental aggression, violence and social exclusion, the Toba have continued to believe in and struggle for a future of freedom.

More here

25 Sept 2009

No Borders London call for action in solidarity with migrants in Calais!

Join us in a demonstration at 5.30pm, on Tuesday 29th September 09, outside the
French Embassy, 58 Kinghtsbridge, London SW1X 7JT.

On the morning of Tuesday 22nd September, French police bulldozed the area
known as the 'jungle' in Calais where migrants were living, destroying their
homes and possessions and detaining around 300 people, including 132 children.
Other migrants left before they could be detained, and have been driven to
sleep rough on the streets of Calais, Paris and elsewhere.

UK Home Secretary expressed his 'delight' at this devestating move by the
French authorities, as it aims to stop migrants reaching the UK. Immigration
Minister Phil Woolas falsely claimed that 'genuine' refugees would claim asylum
at the first country they came to, regardless of whether they had familiy in
other countries - and ignoring the fact that many migrants had not had the
chance to claim asylum. European countries which migrants commonly travel
through to reach France and the UK do not adhere to the UNHCR guidelines on
hosting refugees. In Greece, fewer than 1% of asylum claims were accepted last
year, while in Italy thousands were intercepted and turned away without even
having their claims looked at.

We believe people should have freedom to move and live where they choose. We
believe that adults and children should not be detained against their will,
having committed no crime. In solidarity with migrants in Calais and
everywhere, we demand that the French authorities release the 300 people that
are being detained!

For hourly updates on the situation in Calais, visit


Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, has this week called on the US
President to advance efforts to close tax havens at the G20 talks taking
place in Pittsburgh.

In an open letter to Mr Obama [1] drafted by French Green MEP Eva Joly, Jean
Lambert and other signatories have stressed that Europe suffers from the
same loopholes in its tax system that he has committed to tackling in the
US, which allow companies and individuals to avoid paying their fair share.

The letter calls for all territories currently known to be tax havens to be
required to adopt a system of automatic information exchange, so that state
tax collectors can pursue those not making the appropriate contribution. It
also demands that international corporations implement "country-by-country
reporting", including providing the amount of their assets, global income,
the number of people they employ, the profits they make and the taxes they
pay for each country in which they operate. This is a measure currently
supported by Belgium, South Korea, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Ahead of a debate in Brussels next week led by Eva Joly on the role that tax
havens play in hindering development [2], Jean Lambert MEP commented:

“It is estimated that tax havens drain the UK economy of an estimated £25bn
annually through their role in tax avoidance and evasion, and hundreds of
billions are lost globally every year.

“While the G20 has put considerable pressure on tax havens to sign "on
request" tax information exchange treaties, this has not been sufficient to
put a stop to the practice of country-hopping to avoid paying taxes.

“During this recession there should be a renewed global effort to close
these tax havens and secure the appropriate tax income for tax-collecting
states, for the benefit and stability of both developed and developing
countries that are currently losing out.”

Notes to Editors

[1] Full text of letter to President Obama

Mister President Obama,

We, citizens and members of the parliaments of several European countries
and of the European Parliament, call for your support to ensure the next G20
talks in Pittsburgh bring about decisive progress in the fight against tax

On 4th of May, you declared that the American tax system was "full of
corporate loopholes that make it perfectly legal for companies to avoid
paying their fair share. It's a tax code that makes it all too easy for a
number -- a small number of individuals and companies to abuse overseas tax
havens to avoid paying any taxes at all". We suffer from this same issue in
our own countries in Europe, and wish to put an end to this situation
without further ado.

As a measure to counter this injustice, the G20 put considerable pressure on
tax havens to sign "on request" tax information exchange treaties in order
that information be made more readily available to the relevant tax
authorities. This is a step forward, but it remains insufficient. Often
diverted from their orginal purpose, they can even contribute to aggravating
the issue.

To pursue tax evaders who refuse to pay a fair contribution to society,
these territories must be required to adopt a system of automatic
information exchange and must inform us every time one of our citizens does
business in their territory. Those who go there for legitimate purposes will
have nothing to fear.

Furthermore, international corporations must implement "country-by-country
reporting", which would allow the tax authorities to know the amount of
their assets, their global income, the number of people they employ, the
profits they make and the taxes they pay for each country in which they
operate. This will shed light on unlawful behaviours. Belgium, South Korea,
Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom support this initiative, which now
needs your whole-hearted support.

In 1937, Roosevelt's Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau declared
that "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society. Too many citizens want
the civilization at a discount". We are counting on your long-term
commitment in the fight against tax havens in order that every one of our
citizens and companies pay their fair share to society.

To fund our economic stimulus plans, to foster investments, to fight against
corruption and activities that hinder the development of impoverished
countries, and to support those hit by the crisis, diverting funds that
should serve the common good through tax havens must be made impossible.

We are counting on your efforts at the international level to bring down the
barriers we have been fighting against for so long.

Received, Mister President Obama, our highest considerations.

[2] The debate “Tackling Tax Havens: A Challenge for Development?” hosted by
French Green MEP Eva Joly will be held on Tuesday 29 September 2009, between
13:00 and 14:30 at the Madariaga – College of Europe Foundation, 14 Avenue
de la Joyeuse Entrée, 1040 Brussels (close to Rond-Point Schuman). To
register, send your name and organization to info@madariaga.org or call +32
(0)2 209 6210.

Labour conference is old news say Greens in Brighton

Greens' billboard campaign sets scene - and tone? - for Labour's Brighton conference.

Whatever happens to Brown government, "Labour is old news in Brighton," says Green Party leader's new ad campaign

Firing the first salvo in her bid to take the Brighton Pavilion constituency from Labour at the general election, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MEP has launched a powerful billboard campaign to run throughout Labour's Brighton conference. The artwork for the campaign http://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/imagelibrary/gordon-brighton-billboard.jpg is likely to reflect the tone of the Labour conference - showing a tired-looking Gordon Brown fashioned from old newspaper stories of repeated Labour disasters.

The posters, devised by the Green Party's retained ad agency glue London, observe that twice as many people in Brighton (31%) voted Green in the recent European elections as voted Labour (15%), with the Conservatives on 22% also far behind the Greens. The Greens came first throughout all three constituencies in Brighton and Hove, and recently leapfrogged from third place to take a council seat from the Conservatives in the Goldsmid by-election in the city.

In Caroline Lucas's Pavilion constituency, since 2005 the Greens have come first in every election, claiming a majority of the local council seats. The Greens' campaign director for Brighton Pavilion, Paul Steedman, said today: "The Green Party's record of winning in Brighton and Hove will literally be part of the scenery of the Labour conference. Everywhere they go, Labour delegates will be reminded that in this year's elections the Greens got more than twice as many votes as Labour, and only Caroline Lucas can beat the Conservatives in Brighton Pavilion."

The biggest of the campaign posters, measuring 9m x 9m, went up this morning and can be seen at the corner of Queens Road and North Road, en route from Brighton station to the seafront.

24 Sept 2009

Chris Bryant on the buses off the case when it comes to the Amazon

The plan to open vast swatch of the Amazon jungle has drawn fierce criticism from environmental and human rights groups, which say energy operations threaten to damage the environment and risk exposing remote tribes to new and deadly diseases.

More here

But not as far as I can tell from the British Government, the Minister dealing with Peru, Chris Bryant MP seems to have no opinion on this.

Although he has been writing about the buses in Mexico city.

23 Sept 2009

Chris Bryant MP does he know anything about Peru?

'Peru: Rain Forests
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with the government of Peru on the protection of rainforest in that country. [284214]

Chris Bryant: We have frequent discussions with the Peruvian Government as part of our close and friendly bilateral relationship. This includes with Peru’s Environment Minister on his commitment made at Poznan in December 2008 to reduce Peru’s deforestation to zero by 2019. We have offered our support to the Peruvian Government as they seek to strengthen Peru’s legal framework for protecting the Amazon.'

June 6th Hansard.

The day before June 5th at Bagua as many as a hundred indigenous people killed by the Peruvian government during a rainforest protest.

Perhaps you will join me in suggesting that if New Labour care about the forests they should start by sacking Chris Bryant!

Perhaps he could be shifted to the Burma watch, where he will say 'we are having positive talks with the Burmese government about protecting Burmese democracy, which they are pledged to restore'.

The people at the frontline of environmental protection are killed the people killing them are supported by the UK and EU with free trade deals and high level support.

No wonder voters are sick of New Labour.

22 Sept 2009

Mapuche assault by Apache Oil: please support their struggle

Just got this, please spread the word....incidental this is one bit of Latin America where the green left is weak so if you want to get in touch or have any ecosocialist or green contacts please get in touch, from Chile to Honduras I get a lot of news from a lot of amigos in political struggle por tierra, por selva, por vida...Argentina, well we shall see.

The Mapuche community of Lonko Purran may now be facing eviction after a peaceful confrontation last week with the US-based company Apache Oil.

Apache tried to enter their oil concession, a part of Lonko Purran’s territory in the Neuquen district of Argentina, on September 14. However, upon their arrival they encountered a roadblock setup by the Mapuche. Apache had no choice but to walk away.

A member of the community recently explained (ES) that the company arrived with former Supreme Court Judge Eduardo Badano, who claimed to have bought into the land at a public auction. Before walking away, Badano warned the attending Mapuche that “they would enter the same way they left.”

The Mapuche are deeply concerned that thier eviction is now imminent and they are looking to the international community, particularly organizations in North America, for solidarity and support.

A day after the encounter, on September 15, the Mapuche Confederation of Neuquen released a formal statement of support, denouncing Apache oil, as well as Eduardo Badano and the Governor of the Province of Neuquen, for their roles in suppressing, ignoring, and violating Mapuche Rights.

Roughly translated to English, the statement explains that the Mapuche have been blocking the concession for the past two years, after “harsh repression in 2004″ as well as lawsuits and political persecution brought on by the company.

Lonko Purran has faced similar conflict with another US company, Pioneer Oil, who Apache bought out in 2006. Pioneer moved on to the Mapuche’s land—without the community’s awareness or consent—in 2001. According to Indian Country Today, the company waited until “the entire Lonko Purran community had left for the season to graze their animals in the hills.” Once they were gone, Pioneer immediately got to work.

When the community found out, they surrounded the company’s oil wells in protest, an action that Pioneer sought to “resolve” in court. As far as they were concerned, the peaceful action was illegal.

However, the court saw otherwise, ruling that the Mapuche had a right based on ILO Convention 169 to demonstrate on their own territory. The court also threw out all charges against the Mapuche.

The ruling was seen as a massive victory for the Mapuche and all marginalized peoples in Argentina. But even so, it had little impact on Apache. Now there’s no telling what will happen. The Mapuche fear the worst.

Get in touch with the Mapuche Confederation of Neuquen by email cmnidentidadwijice@gmail.com or by calling 02972-420657.

Or, contact Martin Maliqueo Werken from Lonko Purran at 0299-155174311

More here.

Police smash Vestas blockade.

The blockade in Southampton trying to prevent Vestas shipping out our blades was smashed this morning by police.

Boris is putting up tube fairs.....if it works to reduce climate change the powers that be will stop it.

The train accelerates towards the cliff and the cops blundgeon any one calling for a change in direct!

21 Sept 2009


By Gustavo Palencia

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Ousted President Manuel Zelaya returned to Honduras on Monday almost three months after he was toppled in a coup, and took refuge in the Brazilian embassy in the capital to avoid arrest.

Reuters photographer Edgar Garrido saw Zelaya with aides and his wife in the embassy, and the leftist president gave media interviews from inside the building.

Zelaya’s ouster on June 28 in a dispute over presidential term limits plunged Honduras into its worst political crisis in decades, and was criticized by U.S. President Barack Obama, the European Union and Latin American governments.

His return raises the stakes for the conservative de facto government, which was installed after the coup and which has defied international pressure to let Zelaya return.

De facto ruler Roberto Micheletti wants Zelaya, an ally of Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez, arrested.

“I am here in Tegucigalpa. I am here for the restoration of democracy, to call for dialogue.” Zelaya told Honduran television. He told the Venezuelan-run television network Telesur he was fulfilling the will of the people who wanted him returned to power.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 Zelaya supporters gathered outside the main U.N. building in the capital shouting “Yes, we did it!”

Soldiers toppled Zelaya and sent him into exile after he upset conservative opponents, who accused him of wanting to change the constitution to allow presidents to seek re-election. Zelaya, who was due to leave office in January after elections in November, has denied he was seeking to extend his time in power.

The United States confirmed Zelaya was back in Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere and a staunch U.S. ally during Cold War conflicts in Central America.

“At this point, all I can say is reiterate our almost daily call on both sides to exercise restraint and refrain from … any activities that could provoke violence, ” said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly.

Washington has pushed for Zelaya’s return but Latin American left-wing governments have accused the Obama administration of not being critical enough of the coup.

In New York, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said he was hopeful Zelaya’s return could start a new stage in negotiations to end the Honduran crisis.

The head of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, said Honduras’ de facto rulers “should be responsible for the safety of President Zelaya and the Brazilian Embassy.”

Honduras is a major coffee producer but exports have not been affected by the crisis.

Hat tip: Noah

Mobilisation for planet earth meeting on saturday!

'The indigenous peoples have had enough, they will not put up with false promises, lies and trickery any more. They are out on the streets fighting: to ‘liberate Mother Earth' from the destructive alliance between multinational corporations and the Colombian rich; and for a dignified future for their children and their communities. They are a moral force rising from below to reclaim what is justly theirs, life itself.'

Their biggest enemy is of course the British government! Arms deals, 'free trade', its all about taking indigenous land for profit and the British government have been doing it for centuries...no change in policy yet.

It's rapidly killing the ecosystem the world needs to sustain life but this doesn't bother them....a bit of carbon trading will keep our minds off those who saw through the branch we sit upon.

'85 indigenous people have been assassinated so far this year alone' in Colombia, does Gordon Brown care, no of course not!

The UK government does everything it can to support Colombia and Peru through trade deals because they are the countries who are keen to cut down the forests and repress those who get in the way.

What is the point of increasing trade with countries who don't repress people and devaste the environment.....violence = freedom to log, mine and extract.

New Labour, a cabinet of vampires pretending to be Christian socialists in my view.

THIS COMING WEEKEND COME HEAR AIDA QUILCUÉ SPEAK ABOUT THE MINGA AND INDIGENOUS MOVEMENTS IN COLOMBIA. "My very wise father used to say ‘whenwe have to cry we will do it together,together we will feel the pain, wedon't cry like cowards, we resist' "Aida Quilcué

PUBLIC MEETING 3pm -7pm Saturday 26th September Bolivar Hall, 56 Grafton Way, London W1T 5DL(Euston and Warren Street tube, Victoria line closed , Northern line isrunning)

Guest speaker: AIDA QUILCUÉ, a spokesperson of the Minga of
Indigenous and Popular Resistance, champion for the rights of theindigenous communities in the Cauca Valley, Colombia. With ‘La Minga' film show, plus solidarity panel with Polo Democratico
Alternativo UK and movements of Coordinadora Latinoamericana.

COMMUNITY SOCIAL WITH MUSIC 6pm - 10pm Sunday 27th September Telefono de la Esperanza Unit 7, Fairfax House, Overton Road, Brixton, London, SW9 7JR(Stockwell tube, Loughborough Junction rail, Victoria line closed,
Northern line is running. Buses 36, 436, 185, P5, 133, 59, 159, 3, 415)

..bring food to share

The indigenous peoples have had enough, they will not put up with false promises, lies and trickery any more. They are out on the streets fighting: to ‘liberate Mother Earth' from the destructive alliance between multinational corporations and the Colombian rich; and for a dignified future for their children and their communities. They are a moral force rising from below to reclaim what is justly theirs, life itself.

Minga of Indigenous and Popular Resistance The indigenous peoples' fight is being carried out through participative mass mobilisation - the Minga of Indigenous and Popular Resistance. In October last year, with a special focus against the misnamed ‘free trade agreements' with the US, Canada and the EU, and resisting waves of riot police assaults, the Minga blocked the Pan-American Highway for ten days, following on with two 40,000 strong marches over hundreds of miles that ended in the capital city, Bogotá. This committed and democratic movement is inspiring other impoverished, exploited and excluded sectors to unite in a common process, such that today the Minga is indeed becoming the cornerstone of popular resistance to Uribe's regime.

Uribe has launched a ferocious campaign of repression and persecution.
Aida's husband Edwin was assassinated in an army ambush on 16th
December 2008, and on 12th May 2009 her 12 year old daughter narrowly escaped an attack by four armed gunmen.

These incidents are part of a pattern of deadly, genocidal, violence; 85 indigenous people have been assassinated so far this year alone. As has become notorious for trade unionists, state terror against indigenous people is carried out in complete impunity: nobody is found responsible even in the most blatant cases.

Meanwhile governments like that in the UK continue to foster the illusion of a Colombian democracy. Nothing is further from the truth, in a country where four million people have been forced from their homes, and tens of millions more are like them in destitution.

The Colombia Solidarity Campaign delegation that visited this summer can testify that mining, water and timber corporations are planning to drive still more indigenous, campesino and African-descendant communities off their lands. We have entered a new period where the outcome of events in Colombia and its neighbours matter on a world scale. The US plan for seven more air force and navy installations in Colombia reinforces its capacity to target and eliminate movements or governments that stand up to imperialism. The new deployment poses a threat to the security of the entire Latin American continent, a warning against the popular resistance that is on the rise.

The situation is coming to a head. Expect direct action across the Andean region this 12th October, the 517th anniversary of Colombus's ‘discovery' of the Americas (a date that is marked by the indigenous movement not as a discovery but as the Day of Disgrace, the start of the colonial conquest that continues still in modern form).

It is time to make the Minga visible here too, to internationalise its word and establish an active support network. We invite you to come and learn at first-hand the views of the indigenous movement, to join us in making solidarity protests around 12th October and help fashion an ongoing campaign of mobilisation and accompaniment until the Minga's demands are met.
Colombia Solidarity Campaign, PO 8446, London N17 6NZ. info@colombiasolidarity.org.uk www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk


The Lib Dems are no radicals
Nick Clegg's latest lurch to the right, calling for "bold and savage" cuts in government spending (Britain needs 'savage' cuts, says Clegg, 19 September) is clear evidence that he is never going to "go radical", much as Polly Toynbee might wish otherwise (A Lib Dem moment? Could be. But only if they go radical, 19 September).

As long-held Lib Dem promises on scrapping tuition fees and maintaining universal child benefit go up in smoke, it's no wonder that David Cameron can proclaim in the Observer that there's "barely a cigarette paper" between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives.

The unedifying spectacle of all three main parties vying to "out-cut" one another, comparing the size and sharpness of their respective butcher's knives, scandalously deflects attention from the real issue. Britain's debt as a proportion of national income isn't particularly high by historical standards. At a time when the number of jobless people is nearing 2.5 million, including nearly a million 16- to 24-year-olds, the subject which should be dominating the headlines is unemployment, not the growing frenzy over the government deficit.

The Green party is the only party advocating a different way forward. Massive investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy would create hundreds of thousands of tax-generating jobs, and address the climate crisis. Tax increases for the very wealthy, plus a crackdown on bonuses and chief executive pay, would raise billions, and start to address the shameful increase in inequality under Labour. Scrapping Trident and ID cards would save billions more.

The Lib Dems have forfeited any right to claim to be a party of radicalism. Voters wishing to cast a positive vote for a radical alternative now have one clear choice – the Green party.

Caroline Lucas MEP

Leader, Green party

20 Sept 2009

Afghanistan stop the war demo 24th October

Just had this from Stop the War

Opposition to the war in Afghanistan is growing, even among
those who have till now supported it as the 'good war'.

Leading Democrats in the United States are trying to stop
Obama sending more troops, with his Afghanistan commander
General McChrystal rumoured to be asking for an increase of

The rigged election in Afghanistan puts the lie to any idea
that NATO forces are bringing progress to the country. The
fast rising rate of US and British soldiers dying has forced
politicians and military commanders alike to admit that they
are not "winning" the war.

Opinion polls in Britain and the US show that people no longer
believe the war serves any purpose. Even the tabloid media is
having to reflect the growing discontent.

Stop the War's intensified campaign to bring the troops home
is getting a tremendous response across the county. 600 people
packed an anti war rally in Liverpool this week. Everywhere we
have leafleted in towns and cities, the response to the
anti-war message has been very encouraging.

The more visible and active we make our campaign, as the
situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, the greater
will be the pressure on politicians to do what most people in
this country want: bring the troops home, particularly when
we're just months away from a general election.

We need to ensure that this groundswell of anti-war feeling is
translated into the biggest possible demonstration in London
on Saturday 24 October. (SEE http://stopwar.org.uk )

Stop the War has begun posting details of local BRING THE
TROOPS HOME meetings taking place across the country, in the
build up to the national demonstration. Details will be
published as we get them on our local events webpage:

* Collect signatures for the Troops Out petition in your
street/estate, workplace, college, trade union etc. Download
here: http://bit.ly/rNaTZ;
* Display an October 24 demonstration poster in your window;
* Email your friends and use networks such as Facebook and
Twitter to publicise the demonstration;
* Get involved with your local Stop the War group (our
national office will provide contact details);

EMAIL: office@stopwar.org.kk
PHONE: 0207801 2768

Sunday blog round up

'There's a view that the market is the reason we're in this mess," he acknowledges, "and that giant multinational corporations have chewed up the earth, and left us with this legacy. And that's true. No question about it, the market has been an engine for huge destruction. But that's not a reason to reject the market' More here from hey its killings us but lets keep on with it.

Fish...more bad news on haddock and 'Deep sea fishing is strip mining the sea for luxury fish' here

'While they talk about cutting services and tightening belts, we’ll be arguing for low-carbon investments that will create jobs, keep tax revenue coming in, and fund frontline services' Caroline Lucas interview here.

Rules for Radicals, Bob Morris has been blogging about Saul Alinsky who was Mr Strategy here.

The US right are in bits and the godfather of the neo-cons Irving Kristol has gone to the big bunker in the sky (?) more here.

Organized Rage argues that the war on drugs is more about war than drugs here.

Croydon Greens are fighting the incinerator menace.

Here in Berkshire my amigo Adrian reports on some shit happening.

Meanwhile in Peru the indigenous are going to evict Hunt oil from the Amazon '"We have to attack on every level—using the courts but ready to defend our territory physicaly."

“There is a worry that in 2016 there might not be enough electricity.” not according to the new blog leftfootforward.

and the climate change book I wrote the intro for is reviewed favourably here and panned here....take your pick.

Love critical reviews with the word 'infected' in them.

Don't call Afghanistan a democracy

Exporting Democracy
[col. writ. 9/9/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Since 2001, U.S. presidents have tried to sell their foreign adventures and invasions as exercises in exporting democracy -- as if democracy was a crate of corn, or a barrel of oil.

Few modern presidents spoke of this more often or with more intensity than former president George W. Bush. Few were more disbelieved than he.

It was the height of irony for him to declare, as he often did, that democracies were peaceful, as he spoke atop a rotting hill of bomb-blasted bodies and bones.

Many apologists for the Afghan war have used the export of democracy argument to justify its invasion and occupation.

The installment of Hamid Karzai was supposed to be the crystallization of this democratizing impulse, as was the recent 'election.'

Perhaps the urbane Karzai learned his lesson only too well, if the explosion of ballot-box stuffing, corrupt voting, and other violations are any indication.

Americans certainly know a thing or two about stolen elections and botched balloting. The two Bush campaigns were exemplars of the art.

Democracies, like cuisine, are best home-grown.

Bayonets of foreigners are poor conductors of democracy.

Karzai is about as puppet-like as can be seen without strings.

He is British raised, U.S. paid and U.S. preserved.

He is, essentially, the Mayor of Kabul, who heads a cabinet of narcotraffikers and warlords.

And despite the title, he is controlled and led by them, rather than the reverse.

For years, Karzai was so distrustful of his fellow Afghans, and so devoid of even his own tribal support, that his personal bodyguards were a corps of beefy, buzz-cut Americans.

Imagine a U.S. president surrounded by an armed cadre of foreign soldiers!

Afghanistan is about as much a democracy as Iraq is, or Pakistan is.

It is a state ruled, not by Afghan will, but by foreign elites and local compradors. But it is not, and can not be, a place of peace.

For it is not a democracy, nor governed by popular will.

Call it a narcocracy (rule by drug lords); or a kleptocracy (rule by thieves).

Just don't call it a democracy.

--(c) '09 maj

19 Sept 2009

The future of football is free

Peer-to-Peer, cooperative, FOSS....commons based football clubs are the future argues Andy Hewitt the Green Party Executive campaigns officer and member of Green Left

Swansea have, over the past 25 years or so nearly gone under a few times, largely due to wild excesses of spending, and financial mismanagement by various speculators who have taken control of the club for their own ends.

In 2001 the community marched in their thousands through the city calling to save the club which was being run into the ground by such a speculator, eventually the campaign was won with a group of local business people and more importantly fans taking control of the club and bringing it back into the community. They have vowed to run the club within its means as they recognise the importance of the club to so many people in the city.

A Supporters Trust was established, which now has a 20% stake in the club.

The fall from grace was almost complete 2 years later when the club fought off relegation from the League with an emotional win over Hull in the last game of the season, a game which included a hat-trick by striker James Thomas, a local boy who has a certain legendary status amongst supporters now.
His career was soon to end early due to injury, being a lower league player retiring before the age of 30 I imagine that he was not so “set up for life” as a modern Premier league footballer will be when they are pensioned off.

When football became a commodity, a rich man’s plaything (owning a football club is like what owning a racehorse used to be) and predicated upon market forces, the vast inequality of wealth and resources between the small elite at the top, and the rest, has expanded almost exponentially.
Working Class people who relied on their club and as part of the community have in many cases been priced out of the game. In many ways the game serves as a metaphor for the past 30 years politically and economically.

Swansea have tried to do things a bit differently, being run by fans whose priority is keeping the club alive for the supporters and the community.
The directors of the club all work voluntarily and take no money from the club.
In cooperation with the local council a new stadium was built, shared with the regional rugby club, but largely still owned by the community not the clubs.

A new academy and training facilities are being built to nurture young local talent, and will be shared with the community.
The club has risen up the leagues playing a quality of football which would grace the highest level.
Although part of me would love to see them playing in the Premier League, if that came with the price of sacrificing everything over the altar of football boom and bust for the sake of a small grasp of ’success’, then no thanks (political parties take note?)

The Swans have provided a good model for other clubs to follow to keep them alive in their communities and survive in the cutthroat capitalisation and commodification of football, although it could go further.
How about football clubs being run as true fans/ workers’ cooperatives?

Would it give a better platform for tackling other social problems which attach themselves to football as a reflection of the times: racism, homophobia, violence, inequality? How about locally produced kit so that corporations arent exploiting kids in the global south to make boots and footballs? Fantasy football maybe

Andy Hewett
Campaigns Coordinator, GP National Executive
Secretary, Green Left

Join Green Left

Green left is open to all members of the Green Party of England and Wales.

Please send cheques for £5 for membership up to 1/10/2010 to GL Treasurer c/o P.Murry, 18a Oxgate Gardens, London NW2 6EB

I would of course urge those reading from outside of England and Wales to set up their own Green Lefts.

If your not really a Green Party person...well in the UK Socialist Resistance do an excellent job of promoting ecosocialism and there are more anarchic social movements such as the climate camp which fight for ecology and oppose capitalism.

In Australia Green Left Weekly are excellent.

There are of course big indigenous networks in some parts of the world, the best in my opinion being in the Peruvian Amazon. working hard for ecosocialist goals of justice, ecology and direct democratic participation.

If you are an ecosocialist, its essential to get active and organised.....navel gazing is not an option...got get out there and link up with others and work for change.

And of course good luck if you are just eco or just socialist, it all helps.

18 Sept 2009

Brazil: pressure mounts on Lula as green issues define the political agenda

Most effective green political project in the world, well its obviously my political associates in the Peruvian Amazon, however in Brazil Marina Silva's bid to become President is already having an impact.

European Greens....I think we need to play catch up.

More here

Support the postal workers!

Just got mailed this.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber pledged the "full and strong support"
of the whole seven-million strong UK trade union movement for our postal
members in dispute with Royal Mail.

Taking time out of his busy schedule to address the CWU's lunchtime fringe
meeting, Mr Barber condemned the public attacks being made on our union by
Royal Mail and others and described as "lies" any suggestion that we are
trying to block change.

"I know this union is committed to genuine modernisation," he insisted and
explained how the 2007 Pay and Modernisation Agreement - which he played a
significant personal role in helping to shape - had established the
principle of change by consent.

"But this dialogue is not now taking place," the TUC leader continued,
adding: "There's investment from government not spent and machinery not
being deployed."

After promising, once again, to help and support our members, Mr Barber
concluded: "Your union is in a bitter and difficult battle, but it's a
battle that's got to be won."

The meeting then heard two first-hand accounts of how Royal Mail is treating
some of our front-line members, victimised Burslem postal worker Paul Malyan
telling us of his ongoing fight for justice - a struggle that he and others
remain determined to win nearly two years after being sacked for their trade
union activities.

And a female south London delivery worker told a harrowing story of having
been bullied, shouted at and even spat at by her Royal Mail manager.

Her rep Lee Wimbourne explained that she had been one of three women at this
particular office who filed complaints - including a complaint of racism -
about their bullying managers, but that the company had failed to properly
discipline any of them, instead sacking her some time later over
"performance" issues.

CWU general secretary Billy Hayes spoke for everyone present when he said:
"Keep strong - we will fight for justice for you" and then urged the
audience: "Just tell these stories that you've heard and there are countless
others of workers being treated in this way by a company that says it values
its workforce."

Billy continued his speech with an overview of the current national dispute
and the reasons for it, setting out the CWU's positive vision of a
modernised postal industry, expanding and improving its services to the
public and providing rewarding and secure employment for its workers.

South West and Thames Valley Branch member Amanda Collick became the second
CWU delegate to "put the politician on the spot" at congress when she
tackled Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband over investment for green jobs.

After an energetic speech from Mr Miliband, in which he laid out the
government's plans to achieve targeted reductions in UK carbon emissions,
the Minister spent a further hour or so answering questions from the
audience, several of which focussed on the recent closure and occupation of
the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight.

On this, Mr Miliband answered by expressing sympathy for the workers who
lost their jobs and claimed that the government had "spent months working
with the company, but they didn't have enough orders because many councils,
including councils on the Isle of Wight, turn down applications for wind

Taking up this point in her question, Amanda urged the Minister to recognise
that voluntary initiatives and reliance on market forces would not have any
real impact on halting climate change.

"When will the government commit to a major programme of direct investment
in the creation of public-sector jobs to deliver carbon-neutral housing,
clean and secure renewable energy and an integrated public-sector transport
system that reduces reliance on cars?" she asked.

In his reply, Mr Miliband agreed that "we can't leave it to markets alone"
and pointed to several examples of direct government investment, although he
went on to say that, in the specific case of the Vestas factory, he did not
believe that the government should have taken the facility into public

Salma Yaqoob condemns postal ballot fraud

'Respect Party leader and Sparkbrook councillor Salma Yaqoob raised the possibility with police of fraud during the run-up to polling day after discovering that some Respect supporters hadn’t received their postal voting forms. She suspected ballot papers might have been stolen.
Coun Yaqoob said: “I am very concerned that so many postal votes were rejected by the returning officer. An investigation must be held. If it turns out that fraud was involved, anyone responsible should face prosecution.
“But the truth is that the whole postal vote system is wide open to abuse. For so long as it remains, someone, somewhere, will find a way to bend the rules.
“I won cross-party support last year for an approach to the government asking them to scrap postal voting in Birmingham. The Government really needs to act on this call now to prevent our electoral system being undermined.”

Good for her, it remains a system that can be manipulated.

More here on this story and the Respect victory in yesterday's by-election.

Biofuels kill our planet: Protest now!

'Agrofuels Don't Roc(k):

On 12th October, 6.30 pm, there will be a demonstration outside the Department for Energy and Climate Change, 3 Whitehall Place, London.
is being jointly organised by Campaign against Climate Change,Biofuelwatch and Food not Fuel (London).

The demonstration will be against 'green energy' subsidies for biofuels.At the moment, up to twice as much subsidy, paid a Renewable Obligation Certificates or ROCs, is available for producing 1 MW of energy from burning for example palm oil or rapeseed oil than for 1 MW of onshore wind energy.

Without such massive subsidies, biofuel use for heat and power would not be commercially viable. In Italy and Germany, there are already large numbers of biofuel power plants and virtually all of them run on palm oil, by far the cheapest feedstock, there, too, because of subsidies. In the UK, one proposed biofuel power station could require as much as 10,000 hectares of oil palm plantations or even more for other feedstock. In the name of 'renewable energy', the government is thus subsidising an industry which is directly or indirectly responsible for large-scale deforestation, faster climate change and the displacement and often violent evictions of indigenous peoples, small farmers and other communities.

In the UK and elsewhere, local air pollution and the risk to people'shealth have been of concern. If you live in or near London, please come along and let others know aboutthe demonstration. If you can help with preparing banners, etc. pleasecontact us. If you live outside London and would be interested in helping to organisea simultenous local event, please let us know. We will be happy to list
any additional local events on our website nearer the time.

GOOD NEWS: Three recent applicatons for biofuel power stations have been rejected bylocal authorities planning committees:
+ Blue NG's proposed power station in Southall, Ealing, West London was
rejected unanimously;

+ Vogen's proposed power station in Newport, South Wales, was rejected 8:1;

+ W4B Renewable Energy's proposed power station in Portland, Dorset was rejected 7:4.

We now hope that the decisions will stand and that the companies will respect the decisions. Thanks to everybody who objected to one or more of the applications orotherwise took part in the campaigns.

Best regards,

The Biofuelwatch Team

17 Sept 2009

Rich hunters attack indigenous!

'Since mid August, the eviction of pastoralists has taken a new form where one to two people are taken every day and locked up. You can only get released by the police or told no case to answer if you give money to them, most people are giving money to police not because they have done anything wrong but because they fear for their safety.'

The Maasai in Tanzania are being removed from a National Park.

They have had to graze in the park because hotter weather is drying their pastures...a product of climate change.

They are being expelled from the park so that rich people can hunt game.

Repeat after me 'This is the way world ends, this is the way the world ends, this is the way world ends'

Those who respect the planet are being removed from the land, the 'Gordos' bloated and rich are sucking our planet dry and can pay handsomely to bribe the cops and police public opinion.

Know any 'Gordos'. they are generally in charge and pay some one an awful lot of money to drive the train over the cliff.

Please support the Maasai. Please ignore the 'Gordos' bloated, greedy and blowing up the world!

More here

TUC have voted to Boycott Israel

Britain’s unions commit to a mass boycott movement of Israeli goods

In a landmark decision, Britain’s trade unions have voted overwhelmingly to commit to build a mass boycott movement, disinvestment and sanctions on Israel for a negotiated settlement based on justice for Palestinians.

The motion was passed at the 2009 TUC Annual Congress in Liverpool today (17 September), by unions representing 6.5 million workers across the UK.

Hugh Lanning, chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: ‘This motion is the culmination of a wave of motions passed at union conferences this year, following outrage at Israel’s brutal war on Gaza, and reflects the massive growth in support for Palestinian rights. We will be working with the TUC to develop a mass campaign to boycott Israeli goods, especially agricultural products that have been produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank.’

The motion additionally called for the TUC General Council to put pressure on the British government to end all arms trading with Israel and support moves to suspend the EU-Israel trade agreement. Unions are also encouraged to disinvest from companies which profit from Israel’s illegal 42-year occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

The motion was tabled by the Fire Brigades Union. The biggest unions in the UK, including Unite, the public sector union, and UNISON, which represents health service workers, voted in favour of the motion.

The motion also condemned the Israeli trade union Histadrut’s statement supporting Israel’s war on Gaza, which killed 1,450 Palestinians in three weeks, and called for a review of the TUC’s relationship with Histadrut.

Britain’s trade unions join those of South Africa and Ireland in voting to use a mass boycott campaign as a tool to bring Israel into line with international law, and pressure it to comply with UN resolutions that encourage justice and equality for the Palestinian people..

16 Sept 2009

21st September ' ::: Inside the Revolution: A Journey into the Heart of Venezuela'

::: Inside the Revolution: A Journey into the Heart of Venezuela

(Director Pablo Navarrete, 65mins, Alborada Films, 2009)
> Monday September 21st

Film starts 7pm, £4 entry

February 2009 marked 10 years since Hugo Chavez took office, following a landslide election victory, and launched his revolution to bring radical change to Venezuela. While wildly popular with many in the country, Chavez's policies and his strongly-worded criticisms of the U.S. government have also made him powerful enemies, both at home and abroad, especially in the media. Filmed in Caracas in November 2008, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of Chavez's controversial presidency, this feature-length documentary takes a journey into the heart of Venezuela's revolution to listen to the voices of the people driving the process forward.
"This is a rare film about Venezuela, a country in extraordinary transition. Watch this film because it is honest and fair and respectful of those who want to be told the truth about an epic attempt, flaws and all, to claim back the humanity of ordinary people."
- JOHN PILGER (Journalist, author and documentary filmmake

In association with the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (VSC). The screening will be introduced by Francisco Dominguez (VSC) who will also chair a Q&A with the director after the screening.

The Compass (Function room),
58 Penton Street,
London N1 9PZ
Nearest Tube: Angel

More info: http://alborada.net/alboradafilms

Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=151063552138

Mark Anthony France 'Sacked for saving us cash'

Where can we make spending cuts?

Well Mark Anthony France, a clerical worker from Bromsgrove, has saved the taxpayer thousands.

But for doing so has been sacked. What a society we live in.

He ran a campaign to call for the resignation of high spending Bromsgrove MP Julie Kirkbride.

She stood down and this has saved quite a tidy sum.

He has been sacked from his job. The evidence is in the form of blog comments he made.

Pretty obvious that someone, I wonder who? spent a lot of time tracking him down.

Those who do good in Britain are persecuted and the 'cuts' issue is becoming a circus whereby the rich taxpayers can call for cuts in civil servants pay or benefits for those on low incomes....while they rake it in.

Mark Anthony France is a real hero....now you could write to your MP to defend him but the MPs hate him for the obvious reason he supported a campaign to cull their greed.

Mark is my kind of hero, I wish him luck in his appeal.

He is not a greedy MP but a low paid worker trying to get by and sacked for doing good.

15 Sept 2009

Postal Strike 'Vote Yes'

The Royal Mail is being ripped apart for privatisation, New Labour are killing our postal service and Cameron will be even worse.

This is a strike call we should all support!


In the next week or so we must put all our efforts into securing a YES vote
in the national industrial action ballot.

A further letter and a DVD has been sent to all members' home addresses.
These communications need to be supported with face to face dialogue in the

We need to be clear and consistent on the reasons why we are asking our
members to vote YES - but we must also spell out the very serious
consequences of what a No vote will mean.

Please focus on the following key messages:


. Only a YES vote will maintain the pressure on Royal Mail and secure a
national agreement with a shared vision of modernisation in the interests of
the workforce and our customers - not just the company.

. Only a YES vote will secure a new Job Security Agreement that reflects the
sheer scale of change we are all facing. Sustainable jobs, an agreed
full-time/part-time resourcing mix, no compulsory redundancies and genuine
choices for our members over their future.

. Only a YES vote will ensure our members are rewarded for change. Higher
pay, a shorter working week, better attendance patterns, quality time away
from work, including weekends.

. Only a YES vote will deliver a better and fairer local working
environment. The pace of change can only be dictated by what people can cope
with and workload must be based on agreed standards - not unachievable

. Only a YES vote will keep the pressure on Government to resolve the
pensions problem and end unfair competition.

. Only a YES vote will stop Royal Mail imposing change by diktat and restore
the principle that underpinned the 2007 deal - "that we would work together
and introduce change by agreement".


. Royal Mail will do whatever it wants - the pressure on CWU members will
become unbearable - there will be no union to turn to.

. A No vote will give the company the green light to turn Royal Mail into a
part-time industry and this will lead to compulsory redundancies.

. A No vote will give Royal Mail the green light to intensify their attacks
on our members' pensions, pay, earnings and conditions.

. A No vote will give Royal Mail the green light to introduce change on
their terms and their terms alone.



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